JavaScript Developers on What Matters and What’s Next

Over 72% of businesses are looking for JavaScript developers, according to Geeks for Geeks. That doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon, as the language continues to evolve.

“JavaScript continues to grow in popularity for web development and has been a cornerstone of the Jamstack ecosystem,” Jason Lengstorf, vice president of developer experience at the Netlify Developer Platform, told The New Stack. “Companies are investing in advancing the language because of its wide applicability to web builders, which is why many organizations contributed to the language specification leading to the ES2022 release.”

The latest version of JavaScript, ECMAScript 2022, made eight updates in June. The New Stack asked the developers to share what they thought were the most significant changes.

Netlify has been particularly focused on how this release can help do more with serverless and edge functions, Lengstorf said.

“There are some pretty important (and somewhat controversial) inclusions such as the high-level wait, which is a welcome addition for many developers, but some pundits see it as a gun that will trip up developers who don’t know. how it works under the hood,” Lengstorf said.

The top-level wait function “will delay the execution of current and parent modules until the imported module is loaded”, according to the ECMA 2022 language specification. It allows modules to use runtime values to determine dependencies and it can be used as a fallback for dependencies as per the standard.

Lengstorf said one thing he was happy to see was the .at() method, which is now supported by Array, String, or TypedArray. This will support negative indexing of JS arrays, which other programming languages ​​already allow. It gives the possibility to write arr[-1] instead of arr [arr.length-1]where negative numbers count backwards from the last item, according to software engineer Brayan Arrieta’s blog.

“It’s a great little ergonomic boost to JavaScript syntax,” Lengstorf said.

Characteristics of the cause of the error

Lengstorf also pointed to the introduction of a “cause” for thrown errors, saying it gives “library authors more avenues to create a great development experience.”

Kris Kowal, software engineer at Agoric, also pointed to Error.cause’s functionality as a key upgrade. Agoric is a JavaScript-native smart contract platform and Proof of Stake blockchain.

In error.cause, the Error object and its subclasses now allow developers to specify which error caused the current exception, with the cause appearing in the stack trace and accessible via err.cause, according to the developer’s synopsis Kai Wenzel’s web of standard changes.

“One feature that stands out is Error.cause,” Kowal told The New Stack. “ES2022 adds an idiom for expressing and inspecting serial causal dependence between errors, complementing AggregateError, which expresses causal dependence on parallel errors.”

These features together “enable thinking about error causation,” he said, that will eventually show up in developer tools. Add to that libraries that will begin to take advantage of the ability to express error causation, and “developers will be better able to glean useful insights into the root causes of failure.” Kowal added.

“Error.cause represents one of the best ways for JavaScript to evolve: to become more complete by filling in the gaps implied by the existence of other functionality,” he said.

Support for creating user interfaces

Part of the update helps developers speed up UI creation and includes “incredibly popular” new UI widgets, said Baruch Labunski, CEO of SEO firm Rank Secure.

“One of the changes was to allow migration to Angular for those using AngularJS as support for AngularJS is discontinued,” Labunski said. “Other popular programs have also received updates. Part of the update is due to Microsoft supporting the addition of type syntax in JavaScript, helping programmers add type annotations to their JS code.

Also critical: The update affected two corrupted libraries that had malicious packages included in their original build, Labunski said.

And after?

Agoric has a seat at the ECMAScript table through Mark Miller, chief technical and scientific officer of Agoric, and also a member of the ECMAScript standards group since the mid-1990s, when he joined Google as a delegate. (Watch for our next interview with Miller on how E helped shape JavaScript.) Agoric uses a hardened version of JavaScript with its blockchain solution.

In the next iteration, Agoric would like to see bucket support, Kowal said.

“We’ll be happy to share more as first-class Module and ModuleSource arrive in the language, along with enhanced JavaScript features that allow us to safely invite guest programs to run in a shared domain. “, did he declare.

Developer Shawn Wang, aka @swyx, has documented the evolution of JavaScript and claims that JavaScript is in its third age. One change he is looking forward to is the temporal proposal, which is in the third step of the four-step proposal process.

“This is probably the most anticipated upcoming feature, where basically all date formatting – like what does it mean to take today’s date and subtract a month?” Wang said. There’s all sorts of complicated date logic, including formatting but also date calculations,… Sometimes it’s a bit confusing.

Despite criticism of the language, JavaScript seems here to stay for the foreseeable future.

“Yeah, it’s buggy, but it works,” Wang told The New Stack. “It runs everywhere. That’s a huge, huge advantage to overcome. …yes, if you have a domain-specific language for [a] a new platform and a particular device where nothing else works, [then] of course you can create your own language. But beyond that, JavaScript works with everything.

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